Internet marketing simply means promoting a brand, product, service, or person online. This typically involves a number of different methods, which include:
• SEO (search engine optimization – the process of helping Google to understand and rank your website)
• Content marketing (the process of uploading high quality to your website in order to get people to keep visiting and reading/to trust your website)
• Social media marketing (the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more to reach more people)
• And others such as influencer marketing, RCS, SMS marketing, AI marketing, and much more Internet marketers often sell their services to big and small brands that want to gain more exposure online. This is a very reliable way to earn money in the 2020s.
But what’s more, is that you might use internet marketing yourself in order to earn a living. This is what many people mean by the term internet marketing in fact: using these promotional skills to promote a blog you own (or several) which will then be monetized.
This is the dream of the digital age. The NEW American Dream – to earn money from a computer while sitting on a sunny beach. And then for that website to continue earning money while you sleep.
Internet marketing has been around for a while but it’s still a potentially confusing topic that can be impenetrable for those that know nothing about it. Let’s change all that.
In this report, you will find some simple steps you can take to get started with internet marketing, and each will be explained.
Set Up a Website With Hosting and a Domain Name
When you look into hosting or your website (which simply means storing it online so others can visit it) you will likely choose from one of the better known hosting companies such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, or HostGator.
These will provide you with space on a server, which will remain connected to the web at all times. They can also provide a domain name, which is the URL people will search in order to find your site through their browser.
There is a lot to consider in terms of the hosting package you go with. You need to think about things like the bandwidth, the memory and the customer service for instance. However more important than anything arguably is making sure that the URL you want is available, and making sure that you choose a good one to help your site become a success. Choosing the domain name for your site is one of the first decisions you will make regarding your website – and it is one of the most important.
So how do you go about choosing the best domain for your site? Well there are a few universal truths here that you need to consider. For instance, it is highly important to make sure that your domain is catchy and memorable. This will greatly help when it comes to marketing and advertising and it will also help with repeat visitors. If you have a URL that is long and hard to remember then people will still find your site through Google, but they will be less likely to see an advert and check your page when they get home, and they will be less likely to remember that they found your site useful and so to come back another day.
Next you need to think about how the domain suits your purposes. This is of course a personal decision and what works for one person isn’t going to be ideal for someone else. The domain you choose you see needs to be relevant to your business or to the topic of your site. Large companies will often go for brand names which we will discuss in more detail in a moment.
Websites on a certain topic, or smaller businesses, will sometimes choose ‘exact’ domain names which area the same as the keywords they are targeting (e.g. ‘buy-flowers-in-delaware.com’). While this can sometimes help you do well on Google (despite what Google says), a proper brand name will help you to be taken more seriously and to really catch the eyes of your visitors.
If you want your website to be a kind of e-zine or reference, then you will probably call it something that is relevant to your topic but at the same time catchy and memorable – just like the titles of print magazines.
Designing for Your Niche
When designing your website there are many practical considerations to bear in mind, from the ease of navigation to the layout to how effective it is at getting people to click ads or buy products.
At the same time though you also need to think about the subject of the site and whether or not the style and the design ties in with that. This means making sure that when someone looks at your website, they almost intuitively recognize the niche it’s focussed on and they can decide right away if they want to stay or leave.
At the same time, you will also this way be able to ensure that your website appeals to the same kind of people who enjoy the niche it’s based around, and that you also make sure your site creates the right kinds of emotions and associations that you want.
Choosing the Right Niche
There are too many factors to discuss here when it comes to choosing the right niche. However, some things to bear in mind:
• You should always write about what you know, and what you find fascinating. This will help you to stay committed to running your website, and it will help you to create content that is truly able to provide real value.
• Choose a niche that has a very clear target audience. This will make marketing much easier moving forward.
• Choose a niche that is potentially profitable. Do people spend money on this? How much?
• Consider the competition. What have they gotten right? What can you do differently? How can you set yourself apart.
• Consider creating a new niche. By combining different niches, or honing in on one small facet of a larger niche, you can appeal to lots of people while be completely unique.
Suiting Your Design to the Niche
As mentioned, choosing a niche early on is important so that you can design your website to complement that subject matter. This will help you to communicate visually what you are all about, which in turn will determine whether or not people stick around who you want to keep there.
So how might your design be suited to a particular niche? Well there are several things to consider here. Here are just a couple of them:
Color Scheme: The color scheme of your website will automatically communicate a lot about your site. For instance if your site is about ‘going green’ or other environmental concerns, then using greens and a generally clean design is a great way to communicate that fact and create kind of association. Meanwhile you might also use green for a ‘make money’ website. Meanwhile if your site is about sci-fi or tech then blues, blacks and silvers may be more appropriate. Thanks to science fiction films these are the colours we’ve come to associate with the future and science.
Similarly, if your site is about business, or promoting a B2B service, then you might want to consider using dark blues and whites. These are colors that feel more ‘professional’ and that will help make your site appear professional as a result. At the other end of the spectrum are sites that are aimed at children – and in this case you might want the site to use bright colors like reds and blues as children have been shown to respond better to primary colors. Finally if your site is about something in particular such as a character or a brand, then you should reflect those colors in your site design. A site about Superman for instance would almost certainly want to involve large quantities of red and blue.
Font: The font can also help to reflect your niche and this is something else to consider. For instance if you have a site that’s about retro gaming then you might want to make use of a kind of pixelated system font. Likewise if your site is about Victorian England you could use a ‘ye olde’ kind of font or one that looks like acrylic handwriting, whereas for a vampire site gothic text could work well.
Images: Of course, your images should reflect your niche, but that should also apply to things like buttons and switches. Try to think about the era you want your site to evoke, the mood and the audience yet again. Backgrounds too are important to consider here, and you can either go straight forward and use images that are of or about your niche, or you can use images that evoke the topic – such as old stained paper for instance for a pirate website.
Building Your Website
Now you know what your site is going to look like and what your topic is, it’s time to build your website! The best way to do this is with a tool called WordPress. This is a free site builder and “CMS” (content management system) that is provided by most hosting platforms. That means you can log into your account and often install the tool with a single click! WordPress is highly flexible, completely free, and extremely powerful. It actually powers over one quarter of the internet and is used by many of the biggest and best-known brands in the world!
Internet Marketing 101 – Getting Traffic
Now your site is ready and has a strong brand and name, you can begin to promote it with internet marketing techniques. We’ve already touched on what this entails. There are a few “Pillars” of internet marketing that include:
• Content marketing
• Social media marketing
The good news is that all of these have some overlap, and that they all basically come down to creating excellent content that you can then market. You will promote your articles and blog posts as though they were products themselves – which means posting them to social media, talking about them before they launch and more.
The aim is to build a loyal following this way by gaining maximum exposure, so that people are more likely to want to buy what you’re selling. At the same time, this should enable you to promote yourself. If you integrate SEO into your content (by learning keywords and subtly including them), you’ll then be able to gain SEO benefit from your writing as well. And of course, this is also what you will be sharing on your social media.
In short then, content is very much what makes the web go around, and is the key to a successful internet marketing campaign. That means you need to get it right.
And getting content right means making sure that it stands out with something unique to say. This is why it is so important to choose a subject matter that you understand and are passionate about.
The rest is consistency. Post regularly and build inbound links point at your site as much as possible. Do this, and your traffic will grow over time.
Where is Your Traffic Coming From?
The OTHER secret to successfully running and promoting a website online is very simple: it’s about data. The more data you have and the more accurate that data is, the more you’ll be able to create a detailed picture of your user-base and your marketing success. If you don’t have the right data, then you won’t be able to make informed decisions when updating your site or investing in new marketing techniques.
This is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing and something that is too-often overlooked. If you want to succeed at SEO and marketing, you need to track your success and learn what is effective this way.
Why the Source Traffic is Important
One of the most important pieces of data here is where your traffic is coming from. Do most of your visitors find your site by searching on Google? If so, what keywords are they using? Alternatively, are they coming from YouTube? Or Facebook? Or have you landed a particularly effective link on an external site?
By answering this question, you should then know roughly which of your marketing strategies have been the most successful and this then should inform the choices you make in future.
Of course, the obvious way this will affect your future decision making is by showing you which strategies had the best ROI. If your AdSense isn’t bringing in any traffic but your social media marketing is, then you might conclude that you should spend more of your budget on the latter and less on the former. Ultimately this will result in more traffic – and more customers – for the same costs.
But you can also turn this concept on its head. If barely any of your traffic is coming from Google, then this suggests that your SEO isn’t all that effective. Now you can either cut your spending on SEO, or you might decide that your SEO isn’t working because you’re not spending enough there – perhaps this is an area to work on and improve on? It’s also worth bearing in mind that the source of your traffic sometimes tells you more than just where your visitors are coming from.
How to Find Out Where Your Traffic is Coming From
So now you know why you need to identify the sources of your traffic, how do you go about doing it?
The most common method is to use Google Analytics. This is a free tool that Google provides for Webmasters and which can be used to gather all kinds of data about your site. It takes a few minutes to set up the first time you use it, but it is an invaluable tool and well worth that initial time investment.
Otherwise you might find that you have a similar tool included in your hosting package. Hosting accounts with CPanel for instance will normally come with ‘AwStats’ and ‘Webalizer’ which do essentially the same thing. For WordPress users there are several plugins you can download that offer comparable features too.
At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter what tool you use, as long as you are measuring this critical piece of data.